The cosmopolitan canopy

Politics on the street corner
By Elijah Anderson

The public spaces of the city are more racially, ethnically, and socially diverse than ever. Social distance and tension as expressed by wariness of strangers appear to be the order of the day. But the “cosmopolitan canopy” offers a respite and an opportunity for diverse people to come together to do their business and also to engage in “folk ethnography,” which serves as a cognitive and cultural base on which people construct behavior in public.

  • civility
  • urban ethnography
  • cities
  • public space
  • race relations
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